Classes on Climate Change in Maine, USA

My Regional Reference Person, Beth Edmonds, is backing [supporting] me to lead Care of the Environment (COE) work in Maine (USA). I recently led classes on COE in two different Maine Areas, following Diane Shisk’s suggestion that we get our Communities discharging about and giving feedback on the Draft Program on Climate Change. [See <> .] I loved leading these classes. Beth’s support was beautiful, and I got to discharge lots of terror, embarrassment, and feelings of insignificance.


“Climate Science 101”: Climate change is real and is caused by us. The majority of climate scientists agree that if we make major shifts in the next five to seven years, we can turn it around. We get to decide if we want to or not!

People got to laugh while I gave examples of the ways my (white, female, middle-class, rural) early distress recordings try to convince me not to pay attention to this challenge. For example, “Someone smart, intelligent, and powerful is already taking care of this,” “If I pretend this isn’t happening, maybe it will stop,” “If I look at this head-on, my terror and heartbreak might ‘eat me alive.’”

I said that we are already restimulated a large part of the time. If we put our attention on the climate emergency, we won’t necessarily be more restimulated. However, we will have better access to our early material [distress] and we’ll be leveraging our discharge toward an exciting, collaborative goal on behalf of our beloved planet.

We took turns reading from the first part of the draft program and then had mini-sessions on what we had read. I said this was a chance to use the “decide, act, discharge” method and to stay connected and act together. We laughed about our patterns’ resistance to taking on [undertaking] this work, and I reminded people that we get to do it together, the whole way. To end the class, we went around and shared our next steps. I thought people left looking buoyed up and connected.

We are going to start a regular “Zoom” COE support group. It looks to me like many RCers are ready to be involved. And leading, and backing leaders, is something we RCers know how to do well.

Leading these classes was exciting and energizing, and I now know where I need to discharge to keep forging ahead! The more I get to read other people’s writing, the more I can tell [see] that I’m part of a big team—even though I may feel like I’m operating solo. I look forward to hearing about others’ experiments, mistakes, and victories.

Anna Shapley-Quinn

Monroe, Maine, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list
for leaders in the care of the environment


Last modified: 2019-05-13 15:12:23+00